Palos Hills residents are warned about increase in scams

palos hills police photo 1 28
Courtesy of the Palos Hills Police Department
Palos Hills police and city officials are warning residents about a rise in scams that have been occurring during the pandemic.
By Joe Boyle
The pandemic is not the only concern in Palos Hills as local aldermen have been fielding calls from residents who have become victims of increasing scams.
Aldermen Dawn Nowak and Donna O’Connell have received an alarming rise in phone calls from neighbors, many of them seniors, who have been tricked out of their money by perpetrators who falsely claim they represent public agencies. In many instances, residents have been receiving mail stating these culprits are members of an organization under the COVID-19 Relief Act of 2020.
“I got one sent to my house,” said O’Connell, who along with Nowak cover separate sections of the Fifth District. “They get this mail or phone calls that informs them to transfer their money to a certain fund. It is all fraudulent.”
O’Connell said she has recently received two phone calls from elderly residents who have been tricked out of their money. However, O’Connell said it is not just seniors who have become victims.
“The biggest thing is that some of them know who is filing for unemployment and they are able to get the information,” O’Connell said. “I think it is important to get the information out there. It is kind of scary.”
O’Connell also brought the issue up at the Palos Hills City Council meeting that was held last Thursday night via YouTube. Mayor Gerald Bennett said that unfortunately, these scams occur far too often.
“This has been going on for some time,” Bennett said. “This has been a continuing problem and it seems like it is getting worse. A lot of it has happened during the pandemic.”
Bennett said that for the past few months during the pandemic, residents have been receiving letters from the Illinois Department of Employment stating that they will receive a stimulus check and need more information. The mayor warns residents that these are scams.
“A lot of it is phone calls and they manage to get information from people,” Bennett said. “Anytime anyone asks you to purchase gift cards from Walmart it should be a sign that something is not right.”
Police Chief Jeff Cucio also said that there has been an increase of scams occurring in the city.
“A lot of these people are victims of credit card and phone card scams,” Cucio said. “But it is difficult to see where they are all coming from. A lot of it is coming from overseas so it is hard to detect them.”
The Palos Hills Police Department on their website warns all residents that large increases in individuals calling people claiming to be an IRS official are being made. Unsolicited calls and robocalls to residents are occurring. These individuals are demanding that people send them cash, the police warn.
For more information on these increasing scams and how not to become a victim, visit I.R.S.PhoneScams.
“Again, I just wanted to get the information out there,” O’Connell said. “Many of the seniors don’t look at websites so it is important to remind them and warn them.”
On a more positive note, Bennett said that the free COVID-19 tests that took place on Jan. 16 at the new Public Works building was a success.
Roseland Community Hospital officials reached out to the city to sponsor the event that took place in the morning and into the early afternoon. Bennett said the hospital officials were pleased with the results.
“One of the directors said it was of the most successful events they have had,” Bennett said. “They were very, very satisfied. I told them we can work something out for them to return. They are very interested in returning. They would like to do more in the future. I thank them for sponsoring this event.”
The mayor also thanked city officials and residents who worked tirelessly to support the suddenly homeless residents of a condominium fire that occurred on Christmas Day. The blaze resulted in 56 residents being displaced. City officials and staff, concerned residents, businesses and local service organizations have responded to assist those people who were displaced by the fire with housing and every day needs, the mayor said.
No one was seriously hurt during the fire at the Green Tree Condominiums at 9954 S. 84th Terrace that occurred at 2:50 a.m. on Dec. 25.
Bennett thanked Ald. Mike Lebarre (3rd), a member of the Hills Kiwanis Club, for helping to coordinate the relief effort for the displaced residents. Lebarre also earlier publicly thanked Nowak and Kristin Violante, commissioner of the city’s Resource and Recreation Department, for their efforts in reaching out to the people who were suddenly left with no residence.
“I just want to thank all the people who have stepped forward,” Bennett said. “I want to personally thank a couple of residents who have helped out in Shari Schmidt and Michelle McDougall. They really stepped up to help the fire victims. “
Bennett said that at a later date he is going to give special thanks for all the agencies and individuals who have assisted the displaced residents.
O’Connell, who is the head of the development committee, said during the meeting that Hum Hum Chicken has opened for business. The new carry out restaurant is located in the Domino’s shopping plaza at 10412 S. Harlem Ave. The restaurant is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to midnight.
In response to a question by Ald. Joe Marrotta (4th), Bennett said that in-person council meetings should resume on Thursday, Feb. 18.
Ald. A.J. Pasek (3rd) wondered when the results for the census would be made available? Bennett said that information is currently being reviewed and will be made available by this time next year.

Local News

GSWNH_CondorsWinNeighborhoodBattle_092322

Condors prevail on gridiron

Members of the Curie High School girls’ flag football team share a moment of triumph, moments after they won neighborhood bragging rights over Solorio Academy with a 22-8 victory last week. The Condors were paced by game MVP Destiny Miranda and QB Lexi Urzula. – Supplied photo

dvn lyons logo

Lyons buys property near old quarry

By Steve Metsch The village of Lyons has agreed to pay $2,770,416 for approximately 8.56 acres just south of the former quarry on Ogden Avenue. “This is something we talked about at previous board meetings. It’s finally coming to fruition,” Mayor Christopher Getty said at the Aug. 16 village board meeting. Dubbed the Lyons South…

Members of Argo High School's Track Team pose for a picture with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle at Fall Fest. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Lyons Township Democrats hold annual Fall Fest

By Carol McGowan The Democratic Park of Lyons Township held its annual Fall Fest last Saturday. The party took place outside of the Township Democratic Headquarters at 63rd Street and Archer Road in Summit. Lyons Township Supervisor Christopher Getty was happy with the turnout. “The event was an overwhelming success. We had approximately 300 people…

Screen Shot 2022-09-24 at 4.27.56 AM

City expands security-camera program

Free cams available for the poor From staff reports The City’s Community Safety Coordination Center (CSCC) has announced the launch of a new Income-Based Application that allows Chicagoans to obtain outdoor security devices, based on income. The expansion builds on what officials call the success of the Home and Business Protection Rebate Application, which helps…

Screen Shot 2022-09-19 at 3.32.50 PM

Is the pandemic over?

Not so fast, city Health Dept. seems to say From staff reports While both public health and political commentators assessed the accuracy of President Joe Biden’s recent proclamation that the pandemic is over, the Chicago Department of Public Health appears to be saying, not so fast. “The pandemic is over. We still have a problem…

GSWNH_BaligaStRichardWindows_092322

A labor of love

  Stained glass entry glows with inspiration at St. Richard Church By Tim Hadac For many years, the north wall of St. Richard Church offered parishioners inside a distracting view of 50th Street. These days, it offers a glimpse into eternal salvation. The clear glass in the windows and doors of the church’s main entrance…

regional Blue Mass

St. Francis of Assisi in Orland Park to Host Blue Mass on Sunday

Hundreds of police officers, firefighters, emergency services personnel and their families are expected to attend the annual Blue Mass at noon on Sunday, Sept. 25, at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Orland Park. Hosted by St. Francis of Assisi Parish and the Knights of Columbus Council 16369, the Blue Mass is a Catholic tradition…

Chicago Police Department

‘That’s more like it’

Neighbors praise police for confronting rowdy crowds By Tim Hadac A year ago, crowds of Mexican Independence Day revelers trashed Pulaski Road—mostly between the Stevenson Expressway and Archer Avenue. In 2022, the partiers were back, but this time they appeared to be met by a more robust and coordinated police response—much to the satisfaction of…

Father Mescall

Father Tom’s welcome lives on

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 Back in the June 10 edition of the Greater Southwest News-Herald, we talked about the passing of the Rev. Tom Mescall, who would become the last pastor of St. Adrian Parish before it was combined with Queen of…

Peggy Zabicki

The Mechs are making a difference

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 Every day we hear about the crime going on in the area, like shootings, carjackings, drag racing, theft, battery, house and garage break-ins and catalytic converter thefts. These crimes are so discouraging to hear about. Well, here’s some good news. Long time…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
GSWNH_CondorsWinNeighborhoodBattle_092322

Condors prevail on gridiron

Members of the Curie High School girls’ flag football team share a moment of triumph, moments after they won neighborhood bragging rights over Solorio Academy with a 22-8 victory last week. The Condors were paced by game MVP Destiny Miranda and QB Lexi Urzula. – Supplied photo

dvn lyons logo

Lyons buys property near old quarry

By Steve Metsch The village of Lyons has agreed to pay $2,770,416 for approximately 8.56 acres just south of the former quarry on Ogden Avenue. “This is something we talked about at previous board meetings. It’s finally coming to fruition,” Mayor Christopher Getty said at the Aug. 16 village board meeting. Dubbed the Lyons South…

Members of Argo High School's Track Team pose for a picture with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle at Fall Fest. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Lyons Township Democrats hold annual Fall Fest

By Carol McGowan The Democratic Park of Lyons Township held its annual Fall Fest last Saturday. The party took place outside of the Township Democratic Headquarters at 63rd Street and Archer Road in Summit. Lyons Township Supervisor Christopher Getty was happy with the turnout. “The event was an overwhelming success. We had approximately 300 people…

Screen Shot 2022-09-24 at 4.27.56 AM

City expands security-camera program

Free cams available for the poor From staff reports The City’s Community Safety Coordination Center (CSCC) has announced the launch of a new Income-Based Application that allows Chicagoans to obtain outdoor security devices, based on income. The expansion builds on what officials call the success of the Home and Business Protection Rebate Application, which helps…

Screen Shot 2022-09-19 at 3.32.50 PM

Is the pandemic over?

Not so fast, city Health Dept. seems to say From staff reports While both public health and political commentators assessed the accuracy of President Joe Biden’s recent proclamation that the pandemic is over, the Chicago Department of Public Health appears to be saying, not so fast. “The pandemic is over. We still have a problem…

GSWNH_BaligaStRichardWindows_092322

A labor of love

  Stained glass entry glows with inspiration at St. Richard Church By Tim Hadac For many years, the north wall of St. Richard Church offered parishioners inside a distracting view of 50th Street. These days, it offers a glimpse into eternal salvation. The clear glass in the windows and doors of the church’s main entrance…

regional Blue Mass

St. Francis of Assisi in Orland Park to Host Blue Mass on Sunday

Hundreds of police officers, firefighters, emergency services personnel and their families are expected to attend the annual Blue Mass at noon on Sunday, Sept. 25, at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Orland Park. Hosted by St. Francis of Assisi Parish and the Knights of Columbus Council 16369, the Blue Mass is a Catholic tradition…

Chicago Police Department

‘That’s more like it’

Neighbors praise police for confronting rowdy crowds By Tim Hadac A year ago, crowds of Mexican Independence Day revelers trashed Pulaski Road—mostly between the Stevenson Expressway and Archer Avenue. In 2022, the partiers were back, but this time they appeared to be met by a more robust and coordinated police response—much to the satisfaction of…

Father Mescall

Father Tom’s welcome lives on

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 Back in the June 10 edition of the Greater Southwest News-Herald, we talked about the passing of the Rev. Tom Mescall, who would become the last pastor of St. Adrian Parish before it was combined with Queen of…

Peggy Zabicki

The Mechs are making a difference

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 Every day we hear about the crime going on in the area, like shootings, carjackings, drag racing, theft, battery, house and garage break-ins and catalytic converter thefts. These crimes are so discouraging to hear about. Well, here’s some good news. Long time…

CRR NH Harmony Restaurant House Ad
SWNH Ameri Corp House Ad